Psychology Lecture 27
Slide 11: Thorndike explained a part of a bigger picture, which is linked to classical conditioning. He puts
his cat in a 3d maze and let it figure out a way to navigate out of it. When placing the same cat in the
same maze repeatedly, it figures its way out much faster. The cat was learning. On another perspective
it was a way to visualize learning.
Thorndike developed the law of effect. A right decision encourages the decision to be repeated the next
time around. This worked along with the evolutionary theories that grew during his time, where
valuable behavior persisted over evolution.
Slide 12: Skinner says that conscious decisions do not control your current behavior, that is an
epiphenomenon, but actually use past experience that affected that behavior.
Skinner’s statement: Since we didn’t know the cause of behavior, it was said to be free will. However,
studies into behavior concluded that there may not be any free will that does not affect our behavior.
The consciousness is a free ride that does not affect behavior.
Waldon Tube is a book Skinner wrote making a prediction how we can create a utopian world using
Slide 13: the box is a model of a human world, and the mouse is the human. Scientists have claimed that
animals are close to humans, but different enough to use different ethical codes. The stimuli can be
turned on/off. When the mouse presses the leaver, something may happen. This may bring food, or
electro shocks on the floor for punishment. All animals hate electrical currents, which can equal to a
The Skinner box was used to measure behavior using rate of responding; how often do they pull the
leaver and such.
Slide 15: cumulative recorder records the number of responses (therefore, it’s always increasing), and
can be used to see the rate of responding.
In one the animal was always rewarded, and in another it was rewarded after each pull of the lever.
Slide 16: An organism finding itself in a stimulus complex, a situation, and a discriminative stimulus
happens. You behave, react to it, and a